BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Reviews Advertising For PainNot Laser RX

New York, NY – Feb. 13, 2008 – The Electronic Retailing  Self-Regulation  Program (ERSP) has  determined  that  Suarez Corporation  Industries,  which  markets  the  PainNOT Laser RX, has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims. However, ERSP  recommended the marketer avoid  future use of  or modify certain  other claims. Advertising  for the  PainNOT Laser  RX came to the attention  of  ERSP  through ERSP’s ongoing monitoring efforts.

ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s  self-regulatory  forum, is  administered by   the  Council  of   Better  Business  Bureaus  (CBBB)  with  policy  oversight  by   the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).

ERSP’s inquiry focused on claims included in broadcast advertising. Claims at issue in the ERSP  inquiry included:

  • •           “Relieves Pain Without Drugs.”
  • •           ”European scientists developed cold  laser technology over 25 years ago. It’s being used in over 30 countries and is backed up by  over 1200 clinical studies. This technology has now arrived in the US, and is being used by medical professionals, and NBA, NFL, and Olympic athletes. Now  for the first time this same amazing technology is available for you at home.”
  • •           “LED devices use old  technology and very shallow penetration. The PainNOT laser penetrates 4 to 5 inches for deep pain relief and delivers far more photonic energy to the cells.”
  • •           “Research shows it relieves pain from arthritis, in your back, shoulder and knee, from tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, stress injuries, and more.”
  • •           “The only laser medical device for the treatment of pain that has been cleared
  • for home use by  the FDA.”
  • •           “It’s instant pain relief, put it right on the joints, put it right on my  knee, put it on my  back, put it on my  shoulder. It’s instant pain relief, after 5 minutes of treatment it feels really good afterwards.” [A.G. K]

During the  course  of  the ERSP  review,  the marketer informed  ERSP  that broadcast, print   and  online   advertising   for  the  product  had  been  discontinued.   However, because the marketer did   not represent that the claims  at issue  would be  not  be used in future advertising, ERSP  completed it review and recommendations.

 ERSP  determined that the research compiled on the effectiveness of  low-level laser therapy        provided          a            reasonable       basis    for       the       general performance    claims communicated by  Suarez.

However, ERSP  determined  that claims  implying that  the device  is  the “first” product in which this  technology  has been made available  to consumers were inaccurately communicated   and   should   not   be   used in   future    advertising.   ERSP further recommended that  the  marketer  avoid   use  of   the  claim   “The   PainNOT  laser penetrates  4 to 5 inches  for deep pain  relief” in the absence of  evidence  indicating the precise penetration level of the device.

ERSP   recommended that the marketer, in future  advertising,  clearly  communicate that it  is  low-level laser  technology  and not the product itself  which has  been  the subject of research and that the relief provided by  the product is temporary.

ERSP  determined  the claim  that the product is  “The only laser  medical  device  for the treatment of  pain  that has been cleared  for home use by  the FDA”  should  not be used  in future  advertising,  as the FDA has previously  cleared  several  handheld  low level laser devices for relief of temporary pain conditions.

Finally,  ERSP   expressed  concern about  the  “speed  of  relief”  claims  made  in  the consumer testimonials at issue and recommended that the marketer abide by  section §255.2 of  the Federal  Trade  Commission  Guides  on Endorsements  and Testimonials relating to typicality of  consumer experiences  when using testimonials in its future advertising.

The company,  in its  advertiser’s  statement said  “…we  believe  that working  with  the ERSP  has provided a thorough evaluation of  the claims, great guidance and recommendations that we have accepted and will follow.”